Today I answered some questions of an old lady who had only recently purchased her first ever computer.
It was a rather interesting experience. She was taught all the very basics through a combination of verbal instructions from her retailer and text-and-image sequences from a book she purchased. I should note we’re talking about the very basics here, and that she is using Windows 8.1. Yeah, that operating system. The “.1” there fixes some things, but in its default configuration it’s still such a pain in the ass. Hell, even I sometimes had no idea why something was acting the way it was.
Anyway, back to the point I wanted to make. I taught her how to organize her email, since the book didn’t cover how mail folders worked. Along the way some other questions popped up. There’s still some confusion as to what the arrows keys actually do (yes, they move the cursor, but couldn’t they also do a backspace thing?) and how newlines work (invisible characters yo), but she’s learnt a lot today already.
So now, my point: it can be really, really hard to clearly explain a concept to someone to whom the foundation of that concept is completely foreign (or even just not yet fully familiar). I’m pretty good at making up explanatory analogies, but I was still scratching my head a couple of times. “How am I going to explain this properly?”
Then you also have to keep in mind to give some extra details, but not too many as that’s too much to process. Teaching is hard!